arts and crafts
I found this amazing (and amazingly delicate) ribbon dress at a Cincinnati thrift store this fall. It was stained in a dozen spots across the bodice, but I bought it anyway, thinking "eh, cold water and oxiclean shouldn't be too traumatic". The stains are (mostly) removed, but in the process, this amazing ribbon fabric incurred some damage. The ribbons are woven together to create the overlay atop the satin lining, and they're fairly brittle, so the price of stain removal was some unraveling of the top layer.
My tailor refused to touch it- "that's too delicate for me to fix", he said. So I sat down with some blue thread this week and closed the gaps in the fabric with some minimal bunching- but I don't have much hope that those fixes are permanent. I'm half-expecting this dress to disintegrate off my body while I'm wearing it.
But: those stains aren't entirely eradicated. There are some brownish spots across the chest, and I know it can't stand up to a dry-cleaning (as the drycleaner, like the tailor, refused to touch it). I'm considering dyeing the dress a deeper shade of blue in the hopes it will cover the stains, but I'm not fully confident that dyeing it won't eat the ribbon away and require a bigger, more complicated repair that I'm not up to.
Should I take the chance on a bottle of true-blue dye? Or wear it as-is and hope that no one notices the browish stain positioned awkwardly in the nipple area? Or resign this dress to living under cardigans for the rest of its days?